New York State Assemblyman David G. McDonough recently joined his Assembly Republican colleagues at a news conference to call attention to numerous legislative initiatives and urge creation of a standing committee on Homeland Security to help ensure the safety of all Long Islanders and New York residents.
According to the lawmaker, there are currently an estimated 12 anti-terrorism bills in the Legislature, including several already passed by the state Senate, proposed by Gov. George Pataki and supported by McDonough and his Assembly Republican colleagues. The various measures have been ignored by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and have languished in committee.
Included in the package of measures introduced by McDonough and his colleagues is a bill that would create new crimes and increase penalties for terrorist acts committed at mass transit facilities such as the Long Island Rail Road.
"Long Island and the New York Metropolitan area have the greatest mass transit system in America," said McDonough, a member of the Assembly Transportation Committee. "In addition, the hundreds of miles of coastline that Long Island contains creates added potential threats to the public safety of our region in the event of another terrorist attack. It is absolutely essential that we develop new protections that will help keep residents safe and ensure Long Island and New York remain out of harms way."
Additional protections included in the plan are:
* Establish the Standing Committee on Homeland Security in the state Senate and Assembly.
* Create crimes for money laundering for terrorism and the criminal use and possession of chemical or biological weapons.
* Create the crime of "cyber-terrorism" and calculating damages caused by computer tampering.
* Create the crime of "agri-bioterrorism."
* Increase penalties for terrorist acts and create new crimes relating to terrorism.